Strong leadership is key to a culture of high expectations for all and to high quality teaching and learning in our schools. The quality of leadership is fundamental to the quality of education pupils receive and the outcomes they achieve.

The most recent DfE guidance, Headteachers’ standards: Best-practice standards for headteachers identifies three strands to effective leadership:

Culture and ethos:

Establishing a calm, productive and inclusive school culture where all pupils have a positive experience, achieve well and are prepared for their next phase of education and life, and where staff are developed professionally.

Curriculum and teaching:

Leading the curriculum and teaching, setting high aspirations and delivering high quality inclusive teaching that enables all pupils to succeed.

Organisational effectiveness:

Developing effective systems and processes that keep pupils safe, make best use of resources, build capacity and improve the organisation, with a commitment to working in partnership with others in a climate of mutual challenge and support.

We recognise the importance of providing leaders with the skills and support they need in each of these areas to fulfil their role to the highest standard.

We regard leadership as a skill that is needed from day one as a teacher. Class teachers lead in their classrooms and are working with a range of support staff, so the development of leadership skills needs to start early in a teacher’s career. We provide a broad range of CPD to support career pathways for excellent and aspirational teachers from Initial Teacher Training and the Early Career Framework to early leadership and on to a range of leadership roles within and across schools.  With our partner organisations we provide access to the full programme of National Professional Qualifications (NPQs).

Online facilitated peer support

If you are a Headteacher, Deputy or Assistant Head, you may wish to access online facilitated peer support from Education Support. They offer peer support groups provide a space where you will be able to reflect on the issues you have faced during the coronavirus pandemic, as well as any ongoing challenges you continue to face. The sessions will support you in building protective resilience in a safe and supportive space.

You will participate in six 90-minute sessions in a group of six or seven school leaders.  Your sessions will be run by a professional facilitator, who is a trained coach with experience of working within the education sector. Find out more here.

System leadership

East Sussex promotes different models of leadership and a range of roles at all levels within a framework of developmental pathways.  These include system leadership roles across schools alongside the more traditional middle and senior leadership roles within schools. The East Sussex partnership champions System Leadership as crucial to the capacity and effectiveness of our self-sustaining, self-improving school system. 

These complimentary leadership pathways provide ongoing development and professional challenge that supports career progression and motivates strong leaders and committed classroom practitioners to continue to develop themselves, enabling leaders and teachers to contribute to the system’s capacity while remaining in their school or classroom.  Further information on System Leadership can be found in School to school support.

East Sussex Leadership roles and pathways

East Sussex promotes different models of leadership and a range of roles at all levels within a framework of developmental pathways. These include traditional middle and senior leadership roles within schools, alongside a corresponding range of system leadership roles across schools .

Within schools

• Leaders of learning in the classroom (teachers)
• Chartered teachers (CTeach)
• Subject lead or TLR within a school
• Middle (team) leader within a school
• Head of Department
• SEND Co-ordinator, Inclusion Manager
• Assistant or Deputy Headteacher
• Head of School in a federation/MAT
• Headteacher

Across schools

• Assessment moderator, lead teachers, EY lead practitioners
• Lead SENCO
• Peer review champion
• EIP alliance lead or equivalent role within its executive
• Specialist Leader of Education (SLE), Maths Mastery (NECTM)
• Chair of an EIP or AG and Primary/Secondary Board member
• Local leader of Education (LLE)
• National Leader of Education (NLE)
• Executive Headteacher

Our leadership development offer:

• Mentoring and coaching
• Whole School Policy
• Leadership qualifications
• Middle Leadership
• Good to great schools
• Updates for headteachers
• Governance

Get in touch with a leader

If you’re new to leadership and would like the advice of another headteacher, in confidence, we’d be happy to help connect you – please contact us.

Leadership Coaching

Coaching is a powerful tool for building the confidence of school leaders, their staff and the children/students at their schools. Research on leadership coaching has evidenced accelerated school improvement and standards, delivering improved learning in the classroom, and effective progress and results. Coaching can raise the self-awareness of school leaders and deepens their self-reflection.

More importantly, a coaching approach enables leaders to develop a solutions-based, problem solving culture in their schools.

For the past two years, ESLCN have been able to run a fully funded Equality and Diversity project which has been highly acclaimed by participants and has led to an increase in applications for leadership posts.

Unfortunately, the funding for a third year has been withdrawn, however we now have established coaches who are able to work effectively and empathetically with school leaders to grow their confidence in reflecting on and problem-solving challenges they may be facing in their schools and in developing solutions for ways forward.

It may be that you are considering applying for a school leadership position and coaching may be a successful route to guide you through this thinking process.If you’d like support with coaching, please contact ESLCN Chair, Claire Rivers

Early Leadership

There are a range of ways in which Early Leadership can be supported: 

• Coaching, as described above, is an effective way in which teachers in their early careers can be developed to be strong school leaders

• Stepping into Leadership programme for primary teachers at the beginning of a leadership role

• Subject Leader Networks where subject leaders work together to develop their knowledge and skills

• Within EIPs there may be an opportunity to grow specific skills and to become a Lead Practitioner

If you would like more information about the next ‘Stepping into Leadership’ course, please contact Claire Rivers, Chair of the ESLCN.